Knowledge of world history is essential for today's students, who will be competing in an increasingly global workplace, according to Stanley Holmes, a recently retired high-school world history and sociology teacher. In this commentary, he writes about a change to history education standards in Utah by the state's Office of Education that allows the condensing of world history lessons into one semester. "Ultimately, students are denied the depth and breadth of knowledge required for global competence," he writes.
Students at Roosevelt High School in Portland, Ore., have formed the school's first student council in about 10 years. With the help of activities director and coach Donnie McPherson, students have met more frequently, including during the summer, to plan events, form clubs and raise money. Senior Brandon Saephan recalls telling a teacher he was going to change the world -- someday. "She told me, 'You can start right now by helping your school and your community,'" he said.
A study is underway in Quebec, Canada, on how to improve the teaching of national history in primary and secondary schools. "It is time to discuss what defines us," said Parti Québécois Higher Education Minister Pierre Duchesne. "This will help produce open-minded students, action-oriented citizens and Quebecers with more self-confidence," Duchesne added.
Middle-school students enrolled in a summer-school program in Carroll County, Md., are learning about the attacks on Sept. 11 as a historical event. Teacher Mike Chrvala favors using the stories of individuals to teach history, in this case, calling upon a firefighter and a survivor to share their stories, as well as field trips, to teach students who are too young to remember the attacks of 2001.
Civics and social studies instruction are combined with the principles of social and emotional learning for a lesson in which students work together to create a newspaper article, writes Rutgers University professor Maurice Elias in this blog post. Among other things, the lesson teaches students about the role played by problem-solving and decision-making in current events, he writes.